Healing through Forgiveness
A Teaching By Mary Jo Clouse
More people are held in bondage; physically, relationally, financially, and spiritually due to unforgiveness, than for any other reason. One of the most important truths we can learn as Christians is the power of forgiveness to set ourselves and others free! When we forgive, a level of release and freedom comes into our lives that cannot come any other way.
It doesn't matter whether the person you are required to forgive was right or wrong. Were the people who clamored for Jesus' crucifixion or the soldiers who nailed Him to the cross right in their actions? Yet while He was hanging there, He looked down and said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34, NKJV).
Jesus is our example in forgiveness. We must follow His example and forgive freely, just as He did, regardless of who is at fault. In fact, He tells us not to focus on what someone else might have done to us, but to make an effort to right the wrongs that others perceive we have committed against them.
EFFECTS OF UNFORGIVENESS
1. Makes you physically ill.
2. To refuse to forgive causes confusion and stops the flow of God in your life. When you fill life with the past there is no room for the present.
3. Torments your thinking process.
4. Devil's roadblock in your life. Keeps you in bondage.
5. Bitterness pollutes your blood. Blood is a living tissue that circulates throughout the body in 23 seconds to cleanse the natural body of impurities
"When I did not repent inside of me the negative past roared and released from my body a chemical that was poisoning to my physical man that made me ill. It tormented my soul and kept me from being able to come before God with clean hands, pure heart, and mind free of torment so I can come openly before God." (Ps. 32:3 Amp).
Jesus taught His disciples to pray: "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matt. 6:12). Then He explained why it was so important. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matt. 6:14-15).
Unforgiveness hurts the way you look. We spend hours on the body trying to make it look good but if you're tormented on the inside it will show in your eyes and on your face. " The light of the eyes rejoices the heart and a good report makes the bones healthy." (Prov. 15:30). The bones are the foundation for the body. When a house is built on a good foundation; the winds and storms come but the house stands firm.
Have you ever been so mad that you were about to explode? Yet, you thought you had it hid by putting on that fake smile. Then someone walks up to you and says, "Are you alright?" Anger changes the look of your face and definitely shows in your eyes
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine but a broken spirit dries the bones." (Prov. 17:22). The bone is where red blood cells are produced. The condition of the blood greatly affects your health.
Often anger, mental problems, depression is caused because of unforgiveness. You are literally tormented by your thought process. A certain person comes up in your mind and you go "yuk." The bitterness toward that person imprisons you and puts you in bondage.
Offenses are deliberately laid traps to ensnare you. When you receive the offense; you are held captive mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Unforgiveness has a root system. Speak to the tree of unforgiveness and command it to be moved. Unforgiveness has root systems that dig down in your soul. The by-product, hurt, retaliation, revenge, bitterness and murder; will take root in your soul and torment you night and day. "And the Lord said: if you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamore tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you."
No matter how hard I try, I'm sure that at some time I will do something to a brother or sister that I should not. Likewise, I'm sure that at some time others will trespass against me. When they do, Jesus says I must forgive them, or the Father won't forgive me. To forgive is seldom easy to do. It seems I don't have a choice. If I want to be free, I must forgive!
"See, today I appoint you over Nations and Kingdoms to uproot, to tear down, to destroy, to overthrow, to build, and to plant." (Jer. 1:10). To rule over nations and kingdoms a person needs to be whole.
How do we uproot? Use your God given authority and command every root of bitterness, and all ungodly beliefs to leave your body.
How to teardown? "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12). You pull down strongholds of unforgiveness, every judgmental critical spirits by forgiving everyone that has hurt you and by forgiving yourself.
How to destroy? "Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Lk. 10:19.) You have authority over the devil, demons and your flesh.
How to overthrow? "Walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind. That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (Eph. 4:17a & 22-23). The powers of darkness are overthrown when you refuse to gossip, judge and criticize others.
How to build? The Word of God is a sure foundation. I can build up the walls of my mind by meditating on the Word. Restoration to the emotions comes as I renew my mind with the Word. You put on the helmet of salvation. The word salvation entitles you to heirship which is: eternal life, health, deliverance, preservation, prosperity and provision. It is time to forgive others and yourself so you can walk in all the promises of God.
What to plant? "We are made overcomers by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony." (Rev. 12:11) Begin to confess; The Lord is my deliverer, my fortress, my redeemer, my strong tower, He came to set the captive free and to loose me from all bondages of Satan.
Pray this prayer: "I repent of all sins. Through the name of Jesus; I pull down strongholds of unforgiveness, judgment, critical spirits and root them out, I pull up every bitter root and command bitterness, slander, gossip, and critical spirits to leave my body. I will no longer allow carnal thinking, ungodly beliefs and learned behavior to be the controlling force in my life. Thank you Lord that as I forgive others you will forgive me. I am free through the name and blood of Jesus.